A virtual reality collaborative planning simulator and its method for three machines in a fully mechanized coal mining face

Xie, Jiacheng and Yang, Zhaojian and Wang, Xuewen and Zeng, Quanren and Li, Juanli and Li, Bo (2018) A virtual reality collaborative planning simulator and its method for three machines in a fully mechanized coal mining face. Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering, 43 (9). 4835–4854. ISSN 2191-4281

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    Abstract

    The existing automatic control program and its parameters for three machines in a fully mechanized Coal Mining face are static and simplex and are therefore inadequate for satisfying the complex and dynamic environment of underground coal mines. To overcome this problem, a collaborative mathematical model is established that includes the effects of a dynamic environment. A virtual reality collaborative planning simulator with methods for the three machines is also proposed based on a multi-agent system. According to the dynamic characteristics of the environment, equipment, and technologies, a fully mechanized Unity3D simulator (FMUnitySim) is designed in terms of multiple factors and multiple dimensions. The factors affecting the coordinated operation of the three machines are analyzed and modeled. The communication modes, coordination, and redundant sensing process among multiple agents, which include the shearer agent and the scraper conveyor agent, are also investigated in detail. Using this system, the key parameters of the three machines can be planned and adjusted online to design and distinctly observe the corresponding collaborative simulations of coordinated operation with multiple perspectives and in real time. Tests of different maximum shearer haulage speeds for regular or reverse transporting coal are designed; their key parameters, including the average shearer haulage speed, average follower distance, and average scraper conveyor load, are planned and simulated using FMUnitySim. The optimal parameter combination is obtained by analyzing and comparing the simulation results. The proposed FMUnitySim offers an effective means and theoretical basis for the rapid planning and safe automatic production of a fully mechanized Coal Mining face.